Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 AT 12:44 AM / Updated at 1:11 AM
Tom’s Takes: Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 31
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Overshadowed run: Taylor Martinez had the play of his career, the run of his life. Down 14-0, Martinez dropped back to pass, nearly got sacked for a 10-yard loss, looped around the pass rush like Fran Tarkenton, and then took off. Seventy-six yards later, he had what looked like the ultimate career highlight and a play that, at the time, seemed to spark Nebraska and remind everyone there was a long way to go. But that play seems like last year now. It was buried in the rubble of the 70-31 debacle. Like a lot of great plays along the way this year.

Ringing block by Bell: Kenny Bell’s devastating block on a Wisconsin defender in the third quarter was not an illegal hit. Not a dirty play. It was a clean shoulder into a defender who didn’t see it coming and got laid out. That’s football. But so was Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland’s slam dunk of Taylor Martinez. I’m glad officials are watching out for the players’ safety. But they go overboard too often lately.

Northwestern’s gain: Before the game, Nebraska officials were pretty sure they were going to the Capital One Bowl to play Texas A&M and Johnny Football. Then the blowout began. By halftime, NU officials were saying they expected to drop to the Outback Bowl, likely to play against LSU, with Georgia heading to Orlando to play Northwestern. What a deal for the Wildcats. They lose to Nebraska and Michigan and get the best bowl. So be it.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at